MANILA, PHILIPPINES (20 August 2020) — The Government of Samoa today signed a $1.5 million grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to help fund the country’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Samoa’s Minister of Finance and ADB Governor Honorable Sili Epa Tuioti signed the agreement today at the Ministry of Finance in Apia. Senior Country Coordination Officer from ADB’s Samoa Pacific Country Office Maria Melei and Counsellor and Deputy Head of the Embassy of Japan in Samoa, Kishi Isao attended the event.

“Samoa’s tourism-dependent economy has been hit hard by the pandemic and the country’s health systems are under pressure,” said Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Subregional Office Masayuki Tachiiri. “This grant, along with assistance from Japan, will help Samoa’s health systems respond to this public health emergency.” 

“The timing for this ADB assistance is right and will help us strengthen our health systems, particularly in the aftermath of last year’s measles epidemic, to become ready to contain and mitigate the threat of COVID-19,” said Minister Tuioti. 

“Japan hopes that this grant will serve Samoa in facilitating response to COVID 19,” said Counsellor Kishi. 

The grant is sourced from ADB’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund (APDRF) and follows a $75 million contribution to the fund from the Government of Japan. The grant is part of a $13.3 million emergency grant package from the APDRF to help 10 ADB developing members in the Pacific—the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu—respond to COVID-19.

This is ADB’s third grant to Samoa to combat the impact of COVID-19, following grants of $20 million in July and $2.9 million in April.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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